Top 3 Questions with : Teresa Carlson, VP of Worldwide Public Sector
Updated on: 02 Jul 2016
Amazon believes that the opportunity in the government space is huge, as the cloud is perfectly suited for handling large sets of data and gain rich insights. In an extensive interaction with Jasmine Desai, Teresa Carlson, VP, Worldwide Public Sector, shares how Government departments can benefit from the agility and scale of cloud enabled innovations.
How can customers change their traditional IT-buying behaviour to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud services model, especially in the Government space?
The journey of government to the cloud is a bit different due to regulations and policies, procurement methods and lot of legacy infrastructure. Having a cloud first policy is one of the ways to move swiftly to the cloud. True cloud computing is the ability to get started with no upfront cost, scale as you need to, benefit from utility based pricing and scale globally. The journey in the Indian government is just beginning from an AWS' perspective. Governments have to be very clear on the security and compliance framework. For example, there is FedRAMP process in US. We have achieved every level on it. Commercial companies now are also assessing themselves against FedRAMP. It will be important for India to have a framework for security and compliance so that agencies and ministers know what they are assessing against. The most vital benefit for the government would be that once we achieve these levels, the ISVs building apps on this platform would inherit these security controls.
We have a program called AWS Educate. We will help the government to quickly train individuals. The government has the ability to procure the cloud through Capex versus the Opex model. In the old school model, most government departments have over-purchased infrastructure. For example, many ministers will say that they have 20 PB of data that they want to move to the cloud. When we assess their storage, they may have just 10 PB of real data that they need to move.
Government departments should be able to act and behave like start-ups. They should be able to try and test because they can do it at a low cost which they were not able to earlier. They need to have good procurement vehicles that are cloud friendly. They can continuously take advantage of innovations we are rolling out.
The public sector business for AWS started about five years ago. The early adopters were not IT leaders but they were business mission leaders. They did it because they had a budget to run the program and all of a sudden the budget started decreasing. For example, NASA JPL had the Mars Rover. When they started the program they thought it would last only six months. However, the Rover kept going and they did not have the IT budget for this because they were building traditional data centers. AWS helped them with storage and streaming. From these mission leaders we saw its evolution among IT leaders. Presently, it is again going back to mission leaders.
Security is also seen less of an issue now. The issue is more around culture, training and skill-sets, procurement. Mumbai will be one of our APAC regions. We do availability zones and in those zones are clusters of data centers. Once we get into a region, it really moves fast as it provides the local access, low latency to those application and storage.
What will be AWS' value proposition to government customers?